One by one, Hamilton’s original Broadway cast shuffles off the stage and answers our—and King George’s—question: what comes next? For newly-minted Tony winner Renée Elise Goldsberry, the answer is the titular role in HBO’s film The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
Based on Rebecca Skloot’s book by the same name, the movie will trace the journey of a woman whose cells were used—without her permission—to develop many of the greatest advancements in modern medicine: cloning, in vitro fertilization, and the polio vaccine, just to name a few. Lacks died of cancer in 1951, but her cells, taken during a biopsy, were reproduced in a lab — marking the advent of biotechnology.
But Lacks’s family never gave consent for these cells to be used after her death, just as Lacks never permitted their use during her life. The story raises questions of ethics in modern medicine, bodily autonomy, and racism.
As Vulture reports, Goldsberry will also star in a new Netflix original series, Altered States. This series, like The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, is adapted from a book—a science fiction thriller by Richard Morgan.
Clearly, this woman knows how to WORK.